Pat Brown admits he has already played more first team cricket than he expected this summer as he returns to the Worcestershire side for the Specsavers County Championship clash with Leicestershire at New Road tomorrow.
The paceman has featured in two Championship matches and six NatWest T20 Blast encounters for the County.
He claimed his first Championship victim when dismissing Sussex’s Jofra Archer and then bowled a testing after lunch spell on the final day of the clash with Gloucestershire which brought the vital wicket of skipper Phil Mustard.
Now Brown returns to the side with second placed Worcestershire looking to build on their 36 point lead over nearest rivals Northamptonshire and Sussex who both have one game in hand.
Brown said: “It has been quite a long journey up until here and is a step up from where I thought I would be at this point.
“Am I ahead of where I was hoping? I would have said so. At the start of the year, I wasn’t really thinking about any first team games.
“I was thinking about playing as well as I could in the Seconds and improving really.
“It’s all come pretty quick and was a bit of a shock to me and others as well, everyone really, back home and the coaches here as well probably.”
Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes has praised the way Brown has made strides forward during the past 12 months.
Brown said: “I don’t really know what it is. It is just working hard and doing the right things.
“It is obviously my first year as well so everything steps up in terms of training, gym work, I’ve bowled a lot more balls. There is no doubt in my mind as to that’s why I have improved so much.”
Brown replaces left armer Jack Shantry in the only change from the side which defeated leaders Nottinghamshire by eight wickets at Trent Bridge.
Victory for Worcestershire would move them into pole position as Nottinghamshire are not in action this week.
But opener Daryl Mitchell knows there is still plenty of work to be done in the bid to gain promotion.
He said: “It is very important to enjoy your successes but it’s been back to work on Monday, training, and getting ready for Leicestershire.
“It’s two massive games. If we win one out of them, I’m pretty sure we will be promoted. If we win both of them, we’ve got a chance of winning the league.
“It is vitally important we get up for it again and start focusing on Leicestershire. There’s still a lot of work to be done.”
*A reminder that play on all four days will get underway at 10.30am and that the gates will open at New Road at 8.30am.